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The 16 Most Photogenic Everyday Objects

by James Maher

You know how some people are just photogenic.  No matter what the lighting is or if they are all sweaty from the gym, they are still going to look damn good.

Well the same goes for certain objects and structures.  I am such a sucker for things like water towers, lampposts, and fire escapes, and so I thought I would create a list of my 16 favorite things to include in photographs.  These objects won’t always make a photo, but when included they will almost always make the scene more photogenic.

What are yours?

1. Cigarettes

Bad for your health, great for your photos.

Jerry Delakas

2.  Colorful shoes.

Especially when contrasted with dirty backgrounds.

Polka Dots and Pink Shoes, Subway.

3.  Old Patterned Walls and Wallpaper

An easy way to add an element of pattern and design into your photograph.

Razed Building

4.  Glowing Screens

It’s a good thing those glowing cellphone and iPad screens look good in photos, because unfortunately they are becoming hard to avoid these days.

25 People, 21 Screens

5.  Tunnels

The old frame within a frame.

Couple in Snowstorm, Central Park.

6.  Umbrellas

Particularly the translucent and colorful kind when lit from behind.

Green Umbrella

7.  Ladders and Fire Escapes

Turn them on their side and to an angle to create an illusion.

Escher Fire Escape

8.  Water Towers

Even better when you tint them and add some colorful frames.

Colored Water Towers

9.  Fire Hydrants

Gowanus Fire Hydrant

10. Advertisements that mimic or contrast with real life.

The Road to a Bright Future

11.  Glowing Lampposts

My favorite.

Glowing Lamppost

12.  Phonebooths

Quickly becoming antiquated.  Catch them before they all disappear.

Two Generatins, Phonebooth and iPad

13. Phone Lines

Especially when they are in the middle of nowhere.

Telephone Pole

14.  Old Doors.

Old Door

15.  Windows with Silhouettes.

Greek Protests

16.  Wet Cobblestone

Textures of Greece

Learn more about Street Photography in James Maher’s eBook The Essentials of Street Photography (currently 25% off at SnapnDeals).

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James Maher
James Maher

is a professional photographer based in New York, whose primary passion is documenting the personalities and stories of the city. If you are planning a trip to NYC, he is offering his new guide free to DPS readers, titled The New York Photographer’s Travel Guide.
James also runs New York Photography Tours and Street Photography Workshops and is the author of the e-book, The Essentials of Street Photography.

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